Tuesday, February 21, 2006

In absentia

I am off to Hull to visit a whole bunch of people for the next week so there may not be any updates until then, unless I can get time to hijack someones PC! I expect some serious work to be done on this reducing the field of animals topic.

That means you Lunar and Maria, we need to save the Sloth before Fam and Liv do away with what is an evolutionary role model to many people!

OK, may see you sooner but if not, see you next week

Friday, February 17, 2006

Noah's mini ark

I mean really, how many animals do we really need? As discussed in a previous post, some of them are a bit naff and the creator needs to get off his arse and start making some new ones and pretty pronto. For months I have waited for the arrival of the Squow or the Chew-ow-aaaaarggh! My patience has brought no results at all, our pleadings have wrought nought but disappointment. I thought long and hard about why this clearly soporific 'Higher Power' wasn't leaping at this chance to demonstrate his amazing powers of creation. Then it occurred to me that it might possibly be that he has filled a quota, there are enough varieties of animal on Earth and he isn't allowed to make more until a certain amount of the rubbish ones have been extincted.

So. Clearly we need to start cutting the wheat from the chaff at a more accelerated rate, some kind of separation needs to take place and animals categorised in terms of survival worthiness. I suggest 2 groups: Group A: Keeps and Group B: Losers.

The 'Loser' category will be thanked for their time and evolution but informed that their services are no longer required. A special team of special specialists will be on hand to delvier the news in a humane manner.

After this process, the 'Higher Power' should see the field cleared of all the unnecessary detritus he created in his early years, while he was building himself up to some more worthy creations, and start making some quality new animals for us to enjoy!

Now obviously we need to start finding which animals to keep and which to discard. For this I ask your input. Clearly we are keeping all varieties of Penguin and the Honey badger, that goes without saying but when casting your vote make sure you think about what you're doing carefully. I mean, how many varieties of antelope do we really need? They are all stupid and get eaten by things with big teeth anyway so let's have one universal 'I'm too stupid not to get eaten' Deer/Antelope thing for all predators yeah? Ok, I've kicked you off, let's see what kind of list we get going. The quicker we finish the quicker we can look forward to seeing graceful Squows arcing from tree to tree and Paris hilton's face being eaten by a Chew-ow-aaaarrrgh!

If this doesn't motivate our higher being into action then all the protesters must be wrong and we are in fact meant to play God with genetics. It is a gift for us to make amusing and/or dangerous mutant cross breeds to do our bidding.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hypothetical Dilemma

Following on from my serious political stylings, I have a hypothetical situation to put to you, my reader(s?).

We'll take a hypothetical and completely imaginary character. We'll make him 28, opinionated to the point of stubborness, in need of a haircut, loves curry and beer and a very sociable chap. If often irritating. We'll call him errrmmm..... Dave.

Now Dave may have studied something like, I don't know, Computer Science at University and thus now works in the IT industry. Now Ma......errr...... Dave has quite an active social life, a good circle of friends and enjoys many things. Unsurprisingly, coming from such a techy (and tetchy - see the link I made there? clever eh?) background, it is unsurprising that one of these things is playing some computer games.

So Dave usually played regular games, not really having much of an interest in online gaming. One of Dave's best friends, however, plays a very popular online game and so Dave reasoned that the game looked pretty sweet and the subscription fee was nominal and far less than he would spend in an hour in a pub. The primary reason, initially, for playing is that he doesn't have much contact with this friend because of time and distance (ok physicists we all know they are the same!).

OK, so Dave enjoys the game, keeps him from spending all his time down the pub drinking himself into an early grave in order to relieve the boredom in the evenings during the week. He also gets to chat and have a laugh with his friend. Sweet.

Dave enters a game related competition, the prize being a customised 2Gig iPod Nano. He finds out a few days later that he has won, awesome right?

OK, so here's the dilemma. Does Dave publish his success on his blog, revealing the fact that, not only does he play an online game, but the competition required him to write a sickening game related chat-up line that actually induces a heaving reaction in those that read it?

Now Dave was rightly happy that he won. He didn't expect to win but more importantly had thought the winning entrants line would at the very most be sent in a group email to the other entrants.

Not on the games European website.

So here's the pro's and cons:

If Dave tells the world of his success he also reveals the true depths of his inner geek.

Also Dairylea Cheese Slices may ask him to become their poster boy.

On the plus side, as is rightly pointed out by another close friend. 'Technically you are now an award winning writer'.

He also gets to gloat about the Nano (which he had previously slated but now doesn't like to talk about that).

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If he doesn't tell the world, he saves himself a great deal of embarrassment but doesn't get to tell of the only non-academic competition he has ever won.

Also he deprives some very deserving people of the opportunity to take the piss out of him relentlessly for the forseeable future.

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I think Dave will publish his success but use a thinly veiled pseudonym but not actually provide the name of the site involved. At least then people have to google for it, hoping people don't post the link so at least there is some effort involved!

OK. Open Fire!

Woah there Tonto!

OK. So the last entry is a little contentious and that whole 'religion and politics' at dinner thing I am so often reminded of but pointedly ignore is once again floating in my meagre brain.

It's always a problem when I get wound up by something I think, I see an opinion that differs slightly from my own or I interpret a certain way and I launch at it with vigour. I can't apologise for my views on the matter but I can apologise for trying to force them on someone else, which is one of the things I argue against so i really should behave myself! So if anyone has misunderstood my meaning on anything I said I apologise, especially to Jo.

In conclusion :

Racism = Bad.
Violent and fatal protest against childish cartoons (or anything so banal for that matter) = Bad.
Passing off personal prejudice as journalism = Bad.
Satire = A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, or wit.

Monday, February 13, 2006

This cartoon business

A lot has been made of this cartoon business. Basically I agree with everything that Famulus says on this subject. If you can't be arsed reading it, here is the general feel:

We are nicer to our friends than we are to people we don't like. Islam prohibits the depiction of Mohammed. Yes we have freedom of expression and speech over in the west, but at what point do our freedoms begin to impinge other peoples freedoms? If there was a picture of a swastika and a Nazi-esque propaganda depiction of a Jew, that would be banned, not just because it is just plain wrong, but because we are far more friendly with Israel than we are with Islamic nations. I grant you this is an extreme example, but even if you drop the Swastika you know that no depiction of a Jewish caricature of that type would be tolerated in a mainstream western paper. So given that is the case, can someone tell me the difference with this cartoon that serves no other purpose than to be deliberately offensive to a specific group of people? it's not aimed at terrorists, it's aimed at Muslims. No matter what certain hacks would have you believe, there is a quite marked difference. I know hack is an offensive term but I can't describe them as journalists or reporters because that would imply some degree of objectivity, integrity or at least a vague effort at accuracy.

I'm all for the freedom of the press, I'm entirely against instituional racism.

American Medicare in Dire Straits!

It comes to something when not even the doddering old neo-fascist Dick Cheney, Vice President of the US can get decent medical care in his own country. His Myopia and senility is at such a stage that he can't tell the difference between a 200lb Texan and a game bird anymore.

The signs of Dick 'if it ain't white it don't matter' Cheney's trouble with the health service have been apparent for many years though most noticeably over the last 5 or 6. A key moment was when he mistook a photo of a small Citroen 2CV in the middle of French Polynesia for a 16 acre nuclear and biological weapons development facility in the heart of Iraq. This error was compounded by his friend and colleague Donald "keep 'em scared so they don't notice we are bending them over and using them as our personal gimps" Rumsfeld suggesting that the 'Alliance of the Willing' was the 'Mother of all Alliances. In reality of course, an Alliance that relies on such mighty nations as Luxembourg and Yemen could not, in fairness, be called 'The Mother of All Alliances'. Well, unless the major part of that Mother figure was threatening to cut off all aid to the littler parts unless it did exactly as it was told when it was told to do it.

So this is an appeal people, clearly the state of the Health service stateside is in a worse condition than we thought, donate your cash now so that Dick can learn the difference between a redneck and a chicken! Help stop this madness now before another rich, fat republican neo-conservative gets shot........actually hang on.......

I can tell you are all on the edge of your seats..

'Quins 16 Saints 40. I can tell you couldn't wait for the result.

Now, this was a most bizarre day. Unsurprisingly myself and Mr Ramirez (ILL) were suffering slightly from the night before. Still, we soldiered on up to Twickers and watched our team crush Harlequins beneath iron shod hoof. Or boot.

Afterwards we adjourned to a local hostelry for a pint while we waited for the crowds at the station to die down a bit. As luck would have it, this pub put the televised game on - Wigan (a team that all right minded, non-mutants detest) and Catalans. Catalans are the shiny new French side that started this season. They won. They beat the pies in what was a stunning game, we were so happy.

OK, so to recap. We won. Our arch rivals lost. We were in a pub. How could it get better? How about if the Saint Helens coach walked into the very pub where we were watching Wigan getting used? A most surreal experience. We didn't want to bother him because he was with about 8 generations of his family, including about a score of children.

All in all, a quality weekend. Normal blog service will be resumed now so all you not interested in Rugby League results (all of you who are not Pete) can snap out of that glazed look you've developed...........and..........you're back in the room!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Visiting Foreign Dignitary

Yesterday saw the arrival of Ambassador Pete 'Pedr' Jones from the important grass and wool producing nation of Wales. In my official capacity as 'Welcome Wagon' I met him in the neutral negotiating venue 'The Penny Black'. After that it all becomes a bit blurry.

He is sitting ehre with me. I can feel him about to correct my spelling.

So we are off to watch the rugby today! Woohoo! None of that Kick 'n' Clap nonsense either! Now Union has it's place, it's OK to watch during the off season. It's kind of like watching a warm up match before the professionals start playing, mildly entertaining for what it is but you want the main event to start.

So it's St. Helens vs the newly named Harlequins Rugby League (previosuly the London Broncos). It should be a cracking match. One we should win too which is good because the last Saints match I went to, we got bent over and used by Hull.

Off to station now, more later!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

New mockery

My dad gets home from hospital today. A problem occurred to me last night and it's a tricky one. I've been able to mock him for the way he walks for a few years now and I've been in something of a comfort zone using the John Wayne jokes and 'Get off your horse and drink your milk' line. Now he is fixed, however, I need to find some other thing to latch on to in order to hold my own in the on going insult/mockery league which we entered into when I was about 3.

"Old" jokes are tired and passe, so suggestions on a postcard. I still have the fact that he looks like and extra out of Lord of The Rings so I am not totally defenceless. My current thought is some play on the 6 million dollar man theme : "Stronger, Faster, and with augmented hearing that makes his selective deafness even more acute!".

The man is strange though. He is happy to discount anything that has been frozen as 'made of crap' yet will happily wolf down a Black pudding, which is basically a fried blood clot, and call it 'proper food'.

Anyway, busy day so more later.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Play the bloody thing!

Ok so apart from this guy's Dad apparently being a Vampire Dog what else can i say about this story? Well, as you would expect, quite a lot.

The problem I see with this is that some collector or museum will get this thing and put it in a display case. Great. Go you.

What the hell for? "So future generations can appreciate it's beauty and form and blahblahblah!". To those people I say this - Go boil your head. It's a violin, it looks much like other violins and it will always be violin shaped so take a photo and put that ina case. Paintings are for looking at, films are for watching, hammers are for banging nails into bits of wood and, occasionally, slapstick comedy. You get the picture - Violins are for playing. Now this thing is a Violin created by the greatest violin maker of all time, in the hands of a Master this could make the sweetest most moving of sounds! And it's going to end up in a glass case, I know it is!

"It might break or get damaged if it is used." If we're lucky an antique piano might fall on your head and this debate can be left to people with a soul.

"It'll wear and the sound will wain if it is used!". GOOD! I bloody hope so, at least then some people will have been lucky enough to hear it! And what will happen in a museum? It'll make a bloody lovely sound behind that Plexi-Glass container won't it? A little plaque in front of it explaining how the sound might be like while Musak is piped through nearby Aiwa speakers.

I only bring this up because I saw a program on this fairly recently where they got permission to let someone play a Stradivarius, and the sheer joy on the face of the person playing and those listening was something to behold. The academics were wincing of course, chomping at the bit to get it back in its case.

Now museums have their place, and some things should certainly be kept in them for educational and scientific research purposes - Dinosaurs, fossils, old stoneage tools, the BNP. I can even understand it with books and parchments because they are words that can be copied. OK, some writing is beautiful but it can still be viewed if that is it's purpose, without damaging it. If it's information you need the contents of the book can be transcribed.

Ancient instruments that no one plays anymore can be important to preserve but there is no justification strong enough for keeping a modern instrument under lock and key 'in case it wears out'.

If anyone tells you any different, ask them this question "What was it made for?"

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What the hell time do you call this?!.....

Ok, I've been away a while and I apologise to those of you who actually seem keen on me to update this thing. There are a few reasons for this extended absence but the main one I didn't want to go into too much detail with until it was all over with, or at least to an extent where I could exhale.

So anyway, I've been really busy with work and there were some cool social events over the weekend which I will go into in another post but like I say that wasn't the real problem with the posting.

I'm sure I've mentioned that my dad was going for an operation on his hips, well that was last week. He was going in over his 60th birthday which was Friday, operation being due on the Thursday.

Now I don't really worry about things, mostly I just bumble along through life barely noticing things. For various reasons though I am a little paranoid when it comes to my family. So on Monday I started getting a really bad feeling about this whole operation stuff and didn't really want to blog about it. I didn't really help myself because I didn't talk to anyone about it so you know how these things get.

So everything is peachy anyway, operation was a compelte success and he goes home tomorrow. Apparently he is already mooching about with the aid of a stick so that's all good and no doubt complaining about food of some description.

Now I know some of you think I complain about food. That's only partly true. I complain about the crap some places serve in place of food but luckily I am a huge hypocrite and so do consume it too. I mainly complain about toddlers being fed this rubbish, as adults we have a choice but we could be teaching them to eat properly instead of starting them off spherical. I mean, give them a fighting chance at least?

Anyway, that's my explanation. Will sort the typos out later!

 
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